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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 16 July 2008
Really enjoyed this book from start to finish.
I have read loads of the hard man/gangster books and only a few stick in my mind as excellent reads. The rest seem to spend most of the time trying to fill in the gaps to make the story longer.
This book is definately among the few excellent books that i've read. Once i'd started it i could'nt put it down.
Steve Sinclair comes across as a genuine hard man, with an interesting story to tell in an often humourous manner. He gives a good insight into the life behind the scenes of someone who is a 'name' in the often violent seaside town of Blackpool.
Highly recommended
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on 12 August 2016
What a book, kept me reading on and on until it was finished, I could relate to one nightclub mentioned in this book, when I was there, never realising so much had gone on there! Thoroughly enjoyed reading it, thank you, Mr. Sinclair!
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on 23 July 2008
I loved this book, i couldn't put it down without wanting to read on and see what happened next.
The book is about Steve Sinclair, a doorman in Blackpool and how life was growing up, the jobs he did, the fights he got into and the different places he lived. It carries on to talk about life in Blackpool and what it was like to work on the doors of the night clubs. He has lead a very interesting life and the book it fascinating. A must read.
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on 13 October 2014
This book was recommended to me by a friend and to be honest I was somewhat apprehensive but it's a fantastic read and a great insight to the "other side" of nightlife that you often don't see. Full of intriguing stories of the Blackpool underworld and a truly fascinating character in Steve Sinclair
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on 18 May 2012
I can only say what I experienced first hand working on the doors in Blackpool, Steve did what he needed like most of us and that was to provide for our families the best way possible, not always on the right side of the law. The lengthy comment was from some short narrowed person who wasnt there, I know Steve and many more and they all had their own style of coping with the world that not many dare work.

I worked on the Fleece, Brannigans, Yates, Illusions, Counting House and many more. I got on the wrong side of the law because I didnt think with my head and lost my temper, however if you work, live a play in this world 98% of the time its someone else who also works in the same world that is on the receiving end of an issue. People got trappy and again most of the time they started it and perhasp most of the time did not end it, most people knew me as Goody and believe me when I say this, most of us would have done things differently if we had the chance, so good for you Steve the perfect Gent.
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on 8 March 2014
Steve Sinclair's book really pulls no punches as he takes you through his life as a young tearaway through to being a respected figure on the doors of Blackpool's pubs and clubs. A glimpse into a side of life you'll never see unless you do the job with all the highs and lows it brings along. A truly gripping read.
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on 5 September 2010
Two Stars? Repetitive tales, doesn't deliver what it says it's going to and lacks a certain credibility. These are big claims, but let's go thru them and see if you agree.

First some background. If we think of your stereotypical doorman, he might have the following characteristics: big lad, ex-forces, left school with not a lot to show, something to prove to someone and can handle himself. Mr Sinclair is a nice match. So, what makes him different from the other hundreds, nay, thousands of doormen that have worked in Blackpool and the rest of England over the years? Not much. Apart from maybe the amount of time he spent doing it and the fact he's wrote a book about it.

The book repeats the same four stores over and over again. These are:
1) Doors: group of lads starts trouble in the club/pub or kick-off while trying to get in...resulting in them getting battered. Note: slight variations were they hear from another doorman, who usually comes `running over' (no mobile phones back then) that they need help.
2) Comeback: after one of the above incidences occurs, a bigger than the original group returns, a fight ensues, Mr Sinclair groups wins.
3) Ambush: similar to (1), something happens, Mr Sinclair jumps in a car with a group of lads and go looking for the target group. They find them, jump them and Mr Sinclair groups wins.
4) Boxing Match: Mr Sinclair sparred (and lost) with Sugar Ray Leonard as part of an exhibition match whilst working on the QE2. So we're treated to tales of him and his mates going to watch boxing matches in the US. It's simply not relevant to the main premise of the book and feels like padding.

Template stories (1) thru (3) usually involve some police involvement. Frankly, I'm pretty sure that anyone working in the same job for that many years could have wrote a similar account. The difference here is simply that Mr Sinclair has put pen to paper.

Additionally, the back cover says the book is a `candid insight into the dangerous world of the modern doorman'. Stop! Modern Doorman? Most of the tales are from the 1980s (photos of these modern doorman show them wearing velvet bowties and jackets). At best, this is at least over a decade ago, at worst it's 30 years ago. Candid and dangerous yes. Modern, no. Mr Sinclair does state several times that things were changing (e.g. licensing laws/hours, drug culture and registered doorman), but he doesn't explore the opportunity to tell us How this affected the job or his behaviour.

Secondly, a certain credibility. Mr Sinclair can handle himself, no doubt what-so-ever. During, what you might call my student years in Preston, I had several nights out in Blackpool (without incident and without knowingly, or otherwise, meeting Mr Sinclair). It's a full on, beer fest. Respect to anyone, Mr Sinclair included, that can deal with that night after night. So what's the problem? Firstly, he says (pg69) doing favours (like collecting money, threats, etc) is likely to land you in a lot of trouble; basically don't do it, it's not smart. Yet the book is littered with minor stories of him doing exactly that.

Finally, following template story number (3), they tool up and make their way to Preston's Red Lion pub (pg 102) and just "walked in". They left "because they didn't innocent people to get hurt" (pg 103). A few things here. IF, Mr Sinclair knew his game he'd have known about this pub's clientele and reputation before his "jaw dropping" experience at the place being packed with "over one hundred black men". As for just walking in, I doubt it. Any unknown (white, or otherwise) face walking in that place would have been reported to the back room before they even spoke to the barwomen. Leaving so "innocent people [didn't] get hurt" seems like a cop out, admittedly, a sensible one. Why not make a statement by shooting up the place? Maybe because they didn't know what to expect and were clearly outnumbered?

And, it's that lack of knowledge that makes me in part wonder about the credibility (not the truthfulness) of these tales. He was never running the whole of Blackpool's door business. Agreed, he worked on some big doors, but he also worked a lot of clubs favoured by locals (less likely to cause trouble?). Where, for example, was his time at the central and massive Palace nightclub? And ok, he faced down a few local `faces' and plenty of drunken louts, but never anyone unexpected. Where are the tales of (real) hard-men coming to look for him? Those, really intent on doing him some harm or even other door companies trying to take work away from him? None spring to mind from the book.

The bottom line for me is this: a capable, well known and connected man, with a long history of working the doors, but ultimately only part of a bigger system, with tales that anyone working that long in the job would have rightly accumulated.
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on 15 October 2012
I was fortunate enough to see Steve Sinclair on a television programme during the reading of this book and he comes across as a quiet, self assured, gentleman, which is totally at odds with the violence he has both had to endure and give in his time as a Blackpool Doorman. Not an easy read in the sense that it can be quite a dark book in places, but certainly a fascinating and interesting read. Put it this way, if Steve was the doorman at a club i visited, i would certainly feel a lot safer.
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on 1 August 2013
Wasn't sure whether this would be my cup of tea but once started I couldn't put it down, even when some of the stories were a little repetitive it was written in an easy way which kept me captivated , good read !!
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on 10 January 2013
Enjoyed the book as I am an annual visitor to Blackpool on grand national weekend.Recognised some of the streets and pubs mentioned and as my son has just turned 18 and has decided to take the doorman course mentioned in the book .hopefully he doesn't have the same problems as Steve Sinclair
Chick carson
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